Not sure how long it has been since our last blog – but quite some time I think.Â My usual apologies for the lapse but so much is always going on.Â
We are now the extremely “proud parents”Â of 3 chicks – there were 4 but sadly one died on the first day.Â They are doing extremely well.Â This past week they have been running around outside with mama and the other hens and Mr Cockerel.Â At first the other hens were “pecking” on them but mama soon stopped this and they are all quite OK with each other now.Â You will be pleased to know that Mr C has still not gone in the pot but continues to attack anyone whenever he feels like it.
The chicksÂ are growing so fast – 4 weeks old now.Â Mama hen is laying eggsÂ again but we are still keeping them separate from the other hens and ducks at night just in case…..Â they are still a bit small and one giant step for a duck could be lights out for a small chick.
The poly tunnel has provided us with the most delicious bountiful vegetables and salad.Â Â It has far exceeded our expectations.Â The cucumbers – picking several a day, carrots (now all finished) many of the herbs are past their best now.Â
The main reason for having the poly tunnel was because for the last 4 years our tomatoes have been poor – due to being outside and our great british wet summers.Â Not so this year.Â The tomatoes are amazing and of course the taste is something else.
The runner beans are a true taste and smell of summer for me – so even without the sun shining – it has been summer in the kitchen.Â All topped off with a vase of sweet peas too.
Mentioning peas, the peas have never yet made it to the saucepan and have been eaten usually before making it into the kitchen.
We have been discussing what next for later in the year and to see us over the winter.Â With the help of the internet, books etc we have decided to try and grow a few potatoes – with Christmas Dinner in mind.Â Carrots, beets and onions, some winter cabbage and broccoli.Â
Our parsnips are doing really well too and the thinnings from them have beenÂ so tasty,Â finely chopped into a salad or two or grated into some coleslaw.
Kohl Robi has been a new one on me – I am definitely a fan of it now.Â Â ReallyÂ so delicious in salads and coleslaw and will definitely grow more.Â Rick has very happy childhood memories of kohl robi – growing and eating with his mom.
The newest additions to our flock, are we think, going to be a couple of turkeys…….. hopefully later this week.Â Â Also with Christmas Dinner in mind.Â Will let you know if that goes ahead.
The sprouts (do we still call them “brussell sprouts”?Â Not sure what is PC on those these days.Â The sprouts have some funny little caterpillars that are chomping through their leaves quite vigorously.Â We have been pulling off caterpillars and getting rid of their eggs almost on a daily basis to get rid of them but obviously more arrive during the night for a feast.Â
Our plum trees in the garden are heavy with plums and we have had a few casualties due to the bad weather and the hail knocking them off.Â They are still well laden and looking forward to a rich harvest of plums too.Â Â Our favourite – in addition to plum jam – is plum ketchup.Â This provides us with a brown sauce for hot and cold meats and also a homemade bbq sauce when required.Â
I am busy preparing for a charitable fund raiser in October soÂ am begging borrowing and stealing jam and pickle jars anywhere and everywhere I can. I have vinegar and sugar on standby all the time these days.
I can smell runner beans and supper is calling.Â One day I will manage to upload some photos on here – hopefully.Tags: fresh produce, fresh vegetables, laying eggs, Mr Cockerel, polytunnel, The Good Life